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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
I took this photo several years ago of the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, NYC

"The Eternal God"

Message summary: Today join us in declaring, "The eternal God is my refuge and I have peace in resting in His everlasting arms!"

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"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27).

Today we continue to give consideration to peace, the theme for the second Sunday of Advent.

We enjoy an old spiritual that many of us learned in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School titled, "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands". But the song also gets personal, "He's got you and me brother in His Hands..." That's a great source of peace!

Today's Scripture portion is among the final words of Moses that he gave to the new generation just prior to his death, and prior to their move into the Promised Land. "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27). He wanted the Israelites to have a deep assurance of God's protection and care at this major point of transition in their lives. Joshua would soon assume leadership and they would be crossing the Jordan River to their new home. 

There likely was great comfort in Moses' steady leadership and at the same time the future was full of uncertainty and uncharted territory. After all, the preceding generation had spied out the land and seen giants! But God had not led them out of Egypt to drift indefinitely through the wilderness. There was a long-standing promise to be fulfilled which went all the way back to Abraham.

Although this wonderful truth in today's verse was initially given to the Israelites about 3,400 years ago, it has timeless application for all of God's children in every generation.  This December 14, 2017 we have an assurance of refuge in an eternal God and security in His everlasting arms!

"The eternal God is your refuge." I like to change the pronoun here as expression of my faith, "The eternal God is my refuge". Refuge is a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble. Refuge is used most frequently in the Psalms such as the familiar "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). It is however used only once in the New Testament in Hebrews, "We who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us" (Hebrews 6:18).

"Underneath are the everlasting arms." The phrase "everlasting arms" is theologically known as an anthropomorphism which is a figure of speech which represents God as having human characteristics, form or personality. This phrase "everlasting arms" is only found in this text.

Today we all need this same peace and assurance this truth surely gave the ancient children of Israel. But some do especially. Hardly a day goes by that we do not receive a call or email or personally see someone in distress. Some of you are facing very difficult circumstances. Perhaps you're waiting for a call that may very well change the direction of your life. Others have lost a loved one and this Christmas will be especially difficult. Some of you are dealing with discouragement concerning hardships in life.

But today join us in declaring,
"The eternal God is my refuge and I have peace resting in His everlasting arms!"

Many of you know this song. Sing or hum its melody today (even silently if you are unable to sing the words aloud) and be reminded of our eternal God and His everlasting arms!

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms!
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms!

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:Father, we identify with the Israelites who surely had concerns and fears regarding their future as they journeyed into uncharted territory. We are comfortable with the familiar and can easily worry about the unknown. But we find peace and refuge in You, our eternal God, when we experience the unfamiliar as we learn to trust You for all that concerns us. It is in Your everlasting arms that we find a place of reassurance, comfort, peace and rest. Your arms never grow weary nor do they turn us away as we come to You for strength and support.  Amen.

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Special Year-end Financial Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

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Thank you

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Peace"  Video 

"He's Got The Whole World In His Hands"  Video  The African Children's Choir

"Leaning On the Everlasting Arms"  Video  Homecoming Singers

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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